Desert Storm

Matthew McConaughey is taking the desert by storm this month in the new action adventure movie "Sahara." And Ray-Ban is there for the camel ride. The Luxottica brand has teamed up with Paramount pictures to provide eyewear for McConaughey and co-stars Steve Zahn and Penelope Cruz.

The film follows master explorer Dirk Pitt (McConaughey) and his wisecracking sidekick Al Giordino (Zahn) on a dangerous treasure hunt through Western Africa. Searching for what locals call the "Ship of Death," a long lost Civil War battleship that protects a secret cargo, Pitt and Giordino use their wits and clever heroics to help Dr. Eva Rojas (Penelope Cruz), when they realize the ship may be linked to mysterious deaths in the very same area.
   Ray-Ban supplied four eyewear styles to match each of the lead character’s film personas. Matthew McConaughey wears the Titanium Classic (RB 8018 001), a sleek and sporty style. Zahn sports the Predator Shot Extreme (RB 4037 601). And Penelope Cruz wears two styles: the New Aviator sunglasses (RB 3213 006) and a smart and sexy Ray-Ban ophthalmic (RB 5013 2000).
   To support its desert style, Luxottica is offering retailers a high-visibility promotion. For a minimum purchase of 20 Ray-Ban styles, accounts will receive a countercard pack featuring the lead characters wearing the sunglasses that appear in the movie, an official movie poster and 20 Ray-Ban branded caribiner-style clip watches to use as a consumer gift-with-purchase.
   In addition, retailers purchasing 40 Ray-Ban styles will receive 40 caribiner-style clip watches plus a Ray-Ban branded backpack. Retailers interested in participating in the "Sahara" promotion can contact their Luxottica sales representative for additional information.
      —Jackie Micucci

Carrying the Torch

Sfilo and Essilor shared another Olympic moment. For the third year in a row, the two companies joined forces with the Special Olympics Opening Eyes, a program dedicated to improving vision care for people with intellectual disabilities around the world. Sfilo is the official worldwide supplier of eyewear for the games and Essilor is the official supplier of ophthalmic lenses.

Last year, they contributed to improved vision for Special Olympic athletes at nearly 100 Opening Eyes events in 40 countries. Approximately 20,500 athletes received visual screenings and almost 8,500 athletes received ophthal-mic frames and lenses to improve their sight. 

   The relationship began in 2003 when Essilor and Sfilo entered into a three-year partnership with the Opening Eyes program as the exclusive supplier of ophthalmic lenses and frames. Both companies also support the events in other ways such as event organization, communication activities and promotional materials.

Hall of Frames
In the red. 1. Usher was spotted wearing Chrome Hearts Red sunglasses from Optical Shop of Aspen at the 47th Annual Grammy Awards... Her sunwear will go on. Shes a survivor and so are her sunglasses. 2. Scout Cloud Lee, one of the contestants on Survivor: Vanuatu, wore the Celine Dion model CD 2001 from Kenmark Group throughout the show. Says Lee: I love my glasses. They endured a lot of abuse and very harsh, outdoor conditions for well over 38 days. I couldnt have done it without them On the Marc. Wearing shades by Robert Marc are 3. Shannon Elizabeth, best known for her role in the movie American Pie, in style 509 and 4. Lacey Chabert one of the Mean Girls in style 533 It takes a village. Celebs taking in the films and the freebies at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, stopped by the Daniel Swarovski Paris crystal eyewear boutique at the Fred Segal boutique set up in the Village at the Lift. Showing off their new shades are: Heiress 5. Paris Hilton, was ironically enough, drawn to the new Decadence collection, style 588 in midnight blue; Lord of the Rings star 6. Elijah Wood in style 566; 7. David Schwimmer of Friends in the 563 in gold; 8. Minnie Driver in style 578; and Alexander star 9. Rosario Dawson in 570 Face off. 10. Jane Kaczmarek of Malcolm in the Middle wears Gucci 2550/NS while her hubby 10. Brad Whitford of The West Wing sports Armani 9168/s at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. The duo are the founders of the charity Clothes Off Our Back and donated their Sfilo shades to an online auction that raised money for UNICEFs Tsunami Relief Fund Party man. 11. Sir Elton John recently hosted his annual AIDS Foundation Oscar Party in a pair of Chrome Hearts Red frames from Optical Shop of AspenRevved up. 12. Carlos Santana, who performed the Oscar winning song Al Otro Lado del Rio from the movie The Motorcycle Diaries with Antonio Banderas, wears the tort Incline from Dita Eyewear on the red carpet at the Academy Awards Hunky handyman. 13. Tye Pennington of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition wears Armani 209S from Sfilo at the Peoples Choice Awards.      JM

Robertson Partners With J&J to Distribute Definity
— Johnson & Johnson’s Spectacle Lens Group recently named Robertson Optical Laboratories (ROL) as a distributor of its Definity progressive lenses. ROL, which operate wholesale lab branches in Loganville, Ga., Albany, Ga., Columbia, S.C. and Greenville, S.C. is only the second wholesale lab in the country to distribute Definity. (For the past year, VSP Laboratories, the wholesale laboratory arm of Vision Service Plan, has also been distributing the lenses from its Sacramento, Calif. and Columbus, Ohio facilities). ROL offers Definity lenses either edged or uncut. The new polycarbonate Transitions and polarized Definity lenses are also available through the lab.
   ROL’s Larry Patton (pictured on the right) territorial sales manager for the Columbia, S.C. branch, shows the new Definity lens to Lexington, S.C. optometrist Greg Bailey, OD of Eye Care of Lexington.

Transitions Kicks Off Advance Tour in Tampa More than 350 eyecare professionals learned about the latest advancements in technology, consumer outreach and partner support from Transitions Optical during the first of 13 Advance with Transitions events touring science centers across the U.S. and Canada in 2005. This first event debuted February 24 at MOSI (the Museum of Science and Industry) in Tampa, Fla., and featured a sneak peak at Transitions Eye Didnt Know That! consumer exhibit, which was open to the public for the first time throughout the weekend following the event. Nearly 8,000 consumers visited the Eye Didnt Know That! exhibit at MOSI, including children participating in school field trips.  
   Following the Tampa event, Transitions will be visiting eyecare professionals in 12 more cities across North America, including Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, New York, Pittsburgh and St. Paul, Minn. Event dates and details are available at eyedidntknowthat.info.

Project Runway
As a certain 20/20 editor always says, the sun knows no season. And fashion designers who were part of New York Fashion Week kept that in mind when they presented their 2005 Fall offerings. Sunwear was spotted on more than a few runways.
   Silhouette sunglasses were part of the mix at Pamella Rolands show. A lush fur collared wrap sweater is paired with Silhouette style 4053-6117 while style 3176-6120 complements a sleeveless camel hair turtleneck and skirt.
   Oakley had their own runway presentation showing off sporty styles from their clothing label with styles for the eye including Thump, Oakleys MP3 player sunglass.      JM

Taking Carrera Yourself

The Carrera Ski Racing Team rounded off the Alpine World Ski Championships in Bormio by scooping up a large handful of medals and giving the crowds superb performances in the most important ski event of the year. Wed most like to congratulate Austrias Hermann Maier, who keeps on winning, despite a serious injury just a few seasons ago that threatened to end his skiing career altogether. His gold medal in the Giant Slalom marks the triumphant return of one of the sports most enduring and engaging snow heroes.      James J. Spina

Smiles on the Miracle Mile
Morgenthal-Frederics recently celebrated the grand opening of its new eyewear boutique at the Americana Manhasset Mall in Long Island, N.Y.’s famed ‘miracle mile’ of shops. Richard Morgenthal (pictured) hosted the occasion with a joint party effort including Long Island’s trendy ElementsMagazine. The charity-inspired evening was highlighted by a contribution to the Little Flower Children’s Services. The new store has been stunningly designed by David Rockwell in keeping with the now classic design elements of the other Morganthal-Frederics stores. An added attraction of the evening was a casual wandering fashion show of models in Katie Zorn fashions wearing some of the latest sunglass designs by Morgenthal including the new Catalina styled zyl aviator.      

Sun Troopers
Prepare to really battle the harmful effects of the sun and all the elements. Wiley X Eyewear has developed a specific tech-task force devoted to eyewear designs based on direct feedback from soldiers and officers in the field. The complete series of this eyewear, utilizing Wiley Xs High Velocity Protection lens technology, is dramatically demonstrated in their Clearing Freedoms Vision catalog. Give them a call at (800) 776-7842 or visit www.wileyx.com.      JJS

I Pledge Alliance

Members of The Alliance can now order spectacle lenses, frames and contact lenses directly from www.the-alliance.cc as the result of their partnership with VisionWeb. Log on and click on the VisionWeb Online Ordering button in the navigation bar at the left of the screen. Upon completion of the simple registration form a welcome page will appear that will explain how to set up supplier accounts. For help getting started, please contact VisionWeb Customer Service at (800) 874-6601 or by email at customerservice@visionweb.com.      JJS

A.I.A. Loves l.a.
l.a.Eyeworks is looking good. Its newest retail venture has won an American Institute of Architecture (AIA) 2005 Institute Honors Award for Outstanding Interiors. The store was among 11 international projects chosen by the prestigious group.
   As AIA This Week describes: "The client’s demand for this 1,150-square-foot store arose from a unique relationship between the conventions of commercial retail space and the stability of architecture usually associated with institutional work. In working with the basic parameters of store design—such as the demand for transparency from the street and from the sales counter—the design shapes space and movement through a continuous suspended surface. The gaseous blue surface performs many functions: perforated ceiling plane, window display, bench, shelving unit and sales counter. A group of furniture elements, designed by the architects, acts as a mediator of scale and movement. Finally, a wall of vacuum-formed panels, designed by the artist Jim Iserman, fills the entire west wall of the store. ‘The façade is lens-like—ocular and multi-faceted,’ said the jury. ‘It’s a great place to test eyewear because there is a lot to look at.’ They also liked the hyperconnectivity of the surfaces and architectural elements."
   Since opening in June 2002, l.a.Eyeworks first brand only shop, designed by architect Neil Denari, has been lauded by architecture and design critics. In January 2004, the Los Angeles store received an International Architecture Award for shop design from Contract World—which recognizes the world’s best new shops, restaurants, hotels and office spaces — in Hannover, Germany. In May 2004, it was featured in Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture. Quite the looker indeed.      

Ladies with Swag-ger

In return for making us laugh, some of Hollywood’s funny women were given top props at "The Funny Ladies We Love Awards" held recently in Los Angeles. They were also given a pretty nice goodie bag, featuring a pair of Blue Angel Op sunglasses from ClearVision. Honored guests such as Fran Drescher, Nora Ephron, Kathy Griffin, Reba McEntire, Joely Fisher (above), Cameron Diaz and Renee Zelwegger were among those who got to take home the gift bag valued at about $5,000. Other goodies included an Escada handbag, Victoria’s Secret robe and slippers, a double strand pearl necklace and a burgundy Samsonite suitcase.      —JM

Accent on Accessories
Eyedeals International makes it easier for women to accessorize in style with the introduction of its Sydney Love Eyewear line (see what’s NEW… p. 91). To complement the new eyewear collection, Eyedeals offers optical retailers accessories, such as agendas, handbags and wallets, from the Sydney Love brand. Each frame also comes with a custom-made case that coordinates with other Sydney Love accessories.
   The Sydney Love accessories line, which is designed by Florence, Italy-based Christine DeGennaro, is known for its handbags, backpacks, luggage and other small leather goods and is characterized by vivid colors, whimsical patterns and fun polka dot linings.      
—Gloria Nicola

Bacon & Accolades
His career has certainly had a lot of sizzle. And actor Kevin Bacon continues to cook. Ray-Ban, The Creative Coalition and Hollywood Life magazine honored Bacon recently with the 2005 Ray-Ban Visionary Award, presented during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The award—which honors the dedication of an individual who possesses extraordinary creativity and leadership, and whose work contains vision, imagination and originality—was given to him by actress Marisa Tomei and producer Danny Bigel, both of whom he worked with on "Loverboy," a film he directed that premiered at the festival.
   " Kevin Bacon’s diverse and distinguished film career makes him the ideal person to receive the 2005 Ray-Ban Visionary Award," says Vittorio Verdun, marketing director of Ray-Ban. "We are proud to honor Kevin for his individuality, creativity, originality and dedication to the film industry throughout his outstanding career."
   Bacon has appeared in a diverse range of films including such ’80s classics as "Diner" and "Footloose," and critically acclaimed dramas like "A Few Good Men," "Sleepers," "Murder in the First" and "Mystic River."
   He recently directed his second film, "Loverboy," starring wife Kyra Sedgwick, Campbell Scott, Matt Dillon, Marisa Tomei and Oliver Platt. He currently can be seen in the comedy "Beauty Shop," with Queen Latifah and the upcoming "Where The Truth Lies" directed by Atom Egoyan.      

All's Fare...
When it comes to Fashion Week in New York and both the Elle and Boss eyewear brands find themselves high profile atop some classic yellow cabs. Charmant certainly knows how to drive those taxis stylishly.      

ODs Flock to SECO International 2005th
Optometrists, paraoptometrics and other eyecare professionals headed to Atlanta recently for the 82nd SECO International conference. This year’s SECO featured more than 400 hours of continuing education courses, plus a sold-out exhibit hall in which 220 companies showed off their latest products and programs.
   Preliminary attendance figures for the event were said to be about even with last year, including just under 2,000 ODs.
1. Outgoing SECO President Richard Phillips, OD (second from r) and his wife Lucy (r) welcome Melvin Shipp, OD, dean of the Ohio State University College of Optometry, and his wife, Michele Shipp, MD, to the President’s Reception.
2. Looking over the SECO schedule are
(l to r) outgoing president Richard Phillips, OD; Thomas Griffith, OD, chair of SECO’s AOP section; and Paul Ajamian, OD, general chairman of SECO's CE program.
3. American Optometric Assn. President Wesley Pittman, OD, (r) and his wife Kathy (second from r) chat at the President’s Reception with Florida optometrists Mary Loshin (l) of Plantation and Linda Roose of Ft. Lauderdale.
4. The president of the World Council of Optometry, DDD Sheni (c), is welcomed to the Opening Reception by James Vrac, executive director (l), and Sam Galloway, director of the conference.
5. At Bausch & Lomb's booth showing off Renuu with MoistureLoc solution are (l to r) Keir Mesner, Jeff Distasio and Jeff Nardoci.
6. Roger Valine (r), president/CEO of Vision Service Plan, chats with VSP board member Robert Bass, OD, of Manassas, Va.

Making Progress with Progressives
The patient detailed in this case history previously wore straight top 35mm trifocals, functional for her occupation requiring extensive reading on a computer monitor. She is 53 years old. Her Rx is OD -2.50 -1.25 X 98, OS -1.75 -1.00 X 075 add +2.50. One of her main hobbies is reading.
   Having tried several pairs of progressive lenses, she could not adjust and was not satisfied with her vision when performing other near and intermediate visual tasks. I decided to try a premium progressive lens with her new prescription.
   The initial step was measuring the patient’s pupillary distance and the segment heights for new lenses. The lenses were returned from the optical laboratory and checked for accuracy of prescription and measurements. They were well within optical tolerances, monocular pupillary distances were measured correctly and segment heights were exactly as ordered. In my office I use a progressive identifier to mark all unmarked lenses and check the markings on lenses I receive from suppliers ensuring the brand and materials are specifically those I ordered. These lenses were as ordered and fitted to the patient. She responded that her distance and reading vision seemed fine and she could read the smallest print on the reading card she was given.
   It was agreed the glasses were acceptable and ready for dispensing to the patient. The next afternoon she was back complaining she couldn’t work in the new glasses. I had the patient simulate her work tasks and realized her intermediate vision was the biggest problem. She was using her progressives in the same manner as her wide segmented trifocals—turning her eyes instead of her head. I retrained her on using the progressive lenses and asked her to try the lenses again under work conditions. The following day she returned again with the same complaint. By this point I had happened to consult with a Johnson & Johnson Definity Lens representative who informed me about the wider intermediate portion of the Definity Progressive Lens. Skeptical, I was reluctant to try a different type of progressive at this point. However, I discussed this new lens with the patient and informed her the lens came with a money-back guarantee—if it did not work it would cost her nothing.
   The lenses were ordered, received, processed and fitted. The patient immediately noticed her expanded view through the lenses. She was able to switch distances much more easily and reported the comfort level with the new lenses was a highly acceptable improvement.     —Lee Hewitt, optician, FCLSA

Lee Hewitt is president and owner of Hewitt Opticians Inc. a retail optical business fitting contact lenses and eyeglasses. He is a past president of the NC Opticians Association and former board member of the Contact Lens Society of America with extensive experience in contact lens cases and teaching lens fitting to ophthalmology residents. Hewitt and Ophthalmic Research Associates collaborate on education-focused articles and projects.